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Short Story

Artle Makartle Was
A Real Cool Cat


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In the entire state of New Hampshire, only ninety-five people auditioned for voice at CYC; I was the only one they picked. Out of ninety-five people. My eleventh grade English teacher encouraged me to audition, and my Ant Peg readily agreed; I half heartily tried, and even though Hanover/Dartmouth is just fifteen miles northwest of Shallow Creek, the idea of being away from my parents for five weeks really got me motivated.

It escapes me today what I sang for my audition; I don’t remember how well I sang, but I do remember sitting outside the auditioning room. I was the last to audition, and I was the lucky one to be able to hear the last five kids audition. Imagine, five scared shitless teenagers auditioning for a one in one hundred chance to party all summer on Dartmouth’s campus.

I heard squeaks and bumps come from behind the closed doors of that auditioning room, but mostly what I heard were sweet tones of beauty. I remember one redheaded girl who I thought for sure would get it. She went in just before me. I shivered as I sat with my eyes closed listening to her sing. How was I going ton compete with that? Her voice sounded like the way lightly worn silk feels when it flutters against your naked body in a cool breeze on a crisp summer’s evening.

I looked down at the paper they handed me. They told me we would be discussing it after the audition. "Fucking great, no one told me there was going to be a goddamned fucking test."

"Thank you," I had said.

Music is sound and sound is with us whether we’re in a concert hall or outside one. Henry David Thoreau

"That’s it? What the fuck does that mean? What the fuck am I doing here? Oh man?"

It was finally my turn to go in. Everyone else had left. It was me and two women who where the heads’ of the program. They asked me questions about art and sports, about my personal life and about what I hoped to gain from my experience at CYC. I have to admit, bullshitting is my forte, even then, and the interview went well. All three of us then moved into the rehearsal hall were the voice teacher was going to interview me. I sang my rehearsed piece and then he asked me what the statement on the paper meant to me. I smiled. He looked at me puzzled. I walked over to the piano and started tapping out a rhythm on it with my hands. I started to tap my foot and hum. I turned my head and looked at him.

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Prose : Artle Makartle Was A Real Cool Cat ©1997 lou phinneystoltz
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Painting : lonely Life ©2012 lou phinneystoltz
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